WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
dis•tin•guish /dɪˈstɪŋgwɪʃ/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to mark off as different;
    show a difference:[+ object + from + object]His height distinguishes him from the other boys.
  2. to recognize as distinct or different: [+ between + object]I couldn't distinguish between some of the French vowels.[+ object + from + object]Can you distinguish right from wrong?
  3. to perceive or sense clearly by the senses;
    recognize:[+ object]Without my glasses I can't distinguish certain signs on the road.
  4. to set apart as different;
    characterize:[+ object]Her Italian accent distinguishes her.
  5. to make prominent or eminent:[+ oneself]He distinguished himself in the arts.
dis•tin•guish•a•ble, adj. See -stin-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
dis•tin•guish  (di stinggwish),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by):He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
  2. to recognize as distinct or different;
    recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of:It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
  3. to perceive clearly by sight or other sense;
    discern;
    recognize:He could not distinguish many of the words.
  4. to set apart as different;
    be a distinctive characteristic of;
    characterize:It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
  5. to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent:to distinguish oneself in battle.
  6. to divide into classes;
    classify:Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
  7. [Archaic.]to single out for or honor with special attention.

v.i. 
  1. to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
  2. to recognize or note differences;
    discriminate.
dis•tinguish•a•ble, adj. 
dis•tinguish•a•ble•ness, dis•tin′guish•a•bili•ty, n. 
dis•tinguish•a•bly, adv. 
dis•tinguish•er, n. 
dis•tinguish•ment, n. 
  • Latin distinguere; see distinct
  • Anglo-French, Middle French distinguer)
  • extension, by -ish2, of Middle English disting(u)en ( 1555–65
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate suggest an attempt to analyze characteristic features or qualities of things. To
      distinguish is to recognize the characteristic features belonging to a thing:to distinguish a light cruiser from a heavy cruiser.To
      discriminate is to perceive the particular, nice, or exact differences between things, to determine wherein these differences consist, and to estimate their significance:to discriminate prejudiced from unprejudiced testimony.To
      differentiate is to point out exactly and in detail the differences between (usually) two things:The symptoms of both diseases are so similar that it is hard to differentiate one from another.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged confuse.

'distinguishable' also found in these entries:
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